The TECT All Terrain Park is located on Whataroa Road, off SH36 (Tauranga Direct Road) between Tauranga and Rotorua. Numerous activities are catered for in the park, with the area west of SH36 covering non-motorised activities, such as horse riding, mountain biking, hiking, model aeroplanes, shooting, and dog exercise. Details of the park can be found on their web site. Various maps can be viewed or downloaded from the maps page on the site.
The Te Rerenga Trail and Lost Tank tracks in the park have been covered in a separate post. This post covers the tracks to the radio repeater site with a lookout, with extensive views of the surrounding area. Continue reading
Kopurererua Valley is a low-lying area about 5 km long covering an area of 300 hectares, with Kopurererua Stream running through it, from Tauriko at the southern end and Waihi Road at the northern end. The valley is bisected by Takitimu Drive, a toll road, which is part of SH29. The ridge on the western side of the valley has Cambridge Road running along the ridgeline, and the ridge on the eastern side has Cameron Road running along the ridgeline. The Whakapaewaka Bridge across Takitimu Drive, officially opened in early August 2018, allows walkers and cyclists to cross over from one side of the valley to the other, near the midpoint of the valley.
Combined walkways and cycleways run through the valley, with tracks leading to various side streets along the way. Bridges across Kopurererua Stream have also recently been constructed, and most of the tracks are wide with a gravel surface. Some are still grass areas which can be wet and muddy during winter and wet periods. Much of the valley consists of wetlands, and a boardwalk over parts of the wet area connects the ends of 17th Avenue and Faulkner Street. Continue reading
Ohauiti Reserve runs parallel to and partly alongside Ohauiti Road between McFetridge Lane and Rowesdale Drive. A number of walking tracks run through and across the reserve, with areas of bush, wetlands, open grassland, and flood plains. The reserve tracks are included in the brochure Tauranga Walkways and Cycleways, available for download from the Tauranga City Council web site.
The brochure does not mention the locations of the various access points, or where parking can be found near the reserve. A small parking area is available on McFetridge Lane, with only on-street parking available near the other access points. There are no toilets in the reserve or nearby. Continue reading
Walkways and cycleways run through stormwater drainage reserves between Parton Road the Pacific View Road in Papamoa. They cross various streets along the way, and there are side tracks leading to streets adjacent to the reserves. This walk was done starting at Parton Rd, through the reserves to Domain Rd, along Domain Rd to Papamoa Domain, along the sand dunes through Papamoa Beach Reserve (or Papamoa Coastal Reserve), and back to Parton Rd. A total distance of about 7.7 km.
Tauranga City Council publishes a small brochure, Tauranga Walkways and Cycleways, with descriptions of various walking and cycling tracks within the city. A previous version of this brochure contained the loop walk described here, whereas the current (undated) brochure describes only the part through the drainage reserves.
The TECT All Terrain Park is located about halfway between Tauranga and Rotorua, straddling SH36, and accessible from Whataroa Road. It is divided into two main zones, with various activities in each zone. The motorsports zone is located to the east of SH36, and the activity zone, off Weld Road, to the west of SH36. The park covers 1650 hectares of pine and native forest, with parts of the pine forest being clear felled at various times. Information about the park is found on the TECT All Terrain Park web site, including panoramic aerial photos of the park, maps, and details of activities.
There is a single dedicated hiking trail in the park, the Te Rerenga Tunnel Track, a loop track which starts and ends at the park entrance, where there is a parking area and toilet facilities. The track is about 3.2 km long, and is mostly an easy walk. Near the tunnel under SH36 there are steeper sections with steps on steeper parts and bridges across small streams. A torch is highly recommended for passing through the 36 meter long tunnel.
McLaren Falls Park is accessible from McLaren Falls Road, which branches off State Highway 29 about 19 km south-west of Tauranga. There are numerous walking tracks within the boundaries of the park, with most of them providing easy walks on well-formed and wide tracks. The Lakeside Walkway runs almost the full length of the eastern side of Lake McLaren, from the road entry off McLaren Falls Road almost to the access road to the Lower Mangapapa power station. The Waterfall Track branches off the Lakeside Walkway, crosses over the road and then loops alongside a stream on the way to and from the small waterfall.
McLaren Falls Park is accessible from McLaren Falls Road, which branches off State Highway 29 about 19 km south-west of Tauranga. There are numerous walking tracks within the boundaries of the park, with most of them providing easy walks on well-formed and wide tracks. The southernmost track and also the steepest is the Rimu Track, also known as Rimu-Totara Track, which is directly accessible from the road through the park, by the junction with a short road past a substation to Lake Mangapapa. The side road has a closed gate, with public access for walkers only.
The Rimu Track is short, but quite steep in places, and with numerous steps. It climbs from the road junction through a valley to a plateau with an easy loop track, and a side track down past 3 large rimu trees (The 3 Sisters) to the road leading to Lake Mangapapa. The road can then be followed back to the junction, or a side road and track can be taken back up to the Rimu Track.
Ruahihi Canal was constructed in the late 1970s and early 1980s to lead water from Lake McLaren and the Wairoa River to the Ruahihi Power Station adjacent to SH29. The canal is about 2.5 km long, with water then being fed into penstocks for the final part of the journey to the power station. The penstocks are mainly underground, but the single penstock pipe can be followed from the end of the canal as far as Gunga Lane and Ruahihi Road. At some point the single pipe is split into the two which can be seen alongside SH29, across the road from the power station.
On most days the Wairoa River from McLaren Falls to the power station is only a trickle, but on some weekends the control gates are opened and the river returns to a normal level during the day. The river is popular for white water rafting.
Several historical sites are easily accessible in the Tauranga City Centre, and a loop walk around the city can include those sites as well as other points of interest. A booklet published by Tauranga City Council previously described the walk as “Tauranga / Historical Inner City”. In later editions, as well as the online edition, it does not show the loop walk, and calls it Tauranga/CBD.
The historical sites are The Elms Mission house in Mission Street, Mission Cemetery, Monmouth Redoubt, Te Awanui Waka, and Wharepai Domain. Other points of interest include the Rose Gardens, Robbins Park, The Strand reclamation, and the Hairy Maclary sculptures.
Waikareao Estuary Walkway consists of walking and cycling tracks and boardwalks around the estuary close to central Tauranga and Otumoetai. It is accessible from several locations, and several side tracks lead to and from the walkway. On the western side of the estuary the walkway passes over mangrove tidal zones, and through parks and reserves. On the eastern side the walkway follows alongside Takitimu Drive, with the option of crossing over the busy road to more peaceful and green areas on the other side.
This walk was done in an anti-clockwise direction, starting and ending at the carpark on Maxwells Road, near Chapel Street, and following the track on the western side of Takitimu Drive between Waihi Road and Chapel Street. The Chapel Street part of the walk follows the footpath alongside the road. Total distance was almost 9 kms with a total time of almost 2 hours.